Fermilab completed the drone flights to apply dust-binding material to the rock pile deposited by the LBNF/DUNE project in the Open Cut. The drone flights took place from June 22-24 and sprayed an area of about 4 acres, covering the entire pile of rock excavated for the LBNF project.
The dust-binding material, called Dust Bind Plus, is commonly used in industry. It poses no health, environmental or physical hazards. The safety data sheet for the product is posted on our website. The material forms a cap over the dust that prevents the dust from being picked up by the wind. We will monitor the effectiveness of the capping compound in order to determine how often it will need to be reapplied.
The drone flights proceeded as planned and applied about 150 gallons of Dust Bind Plus mixed with about 1,500 gallons of water. We plan on applying more capping compound with a helicopter in July.
We will continue to collect data on small-size dust particles throughout the duration of the excavation. We also will continue to spray tackifier (NALCO EG 2600) on the rock material that will be transported to the Open Cut by the conveyor, and we will stop conveyor operations when wind speeds exceed 15 mph.
We will share the specifics in the next public informational meeting, which still needs to be scheduled.
Construction crews have removed 30% of the rock to be excavated for the LBNF/DUNE project. The project is on schedule, and we anticipate rock excavation to complete in late 2023.